FOXNews: After Capitol protests, COVID and more, 2021 must be a year of rebuilding
Updated: May 31
The construction industry ensures America has the facilities and infrastructure in place to take care of those who need it most
FOXNews: The challenges we have ahead are serious: Rebuilding our economy and our health care systems will be critical, to name a couple. But building—and rebuilding—is what we do in the construction industry.
Our industry is vital to recovery and the country’s economic engine. We begin with ideas, incorporate ingenuity and safety, and make something remarkable from that.
Here is how we can build our nation back in 2021 and help our health care heroes.
The U.S. construction industry is comprised of the most talented craft professionals and apprentices in the world, and they get little credit.
At work, the construction industry creates goods and services vital to the public, produces well-paying careers and increased opportunities for small businesses to expand and generates overall economic growth.
Construction in a major driver of jobs and prosperity in the United States. Construction spending hit a record $1.4 trillion per year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, employing about 7.5 million workers to build the places where Americans live, work, play, worship, heal and learn. Every $1 billion in construction spending generates an average of at least 6,500 construction jobs.
Last year, Associated Builders and Contractors equipped our 21,000 members nationwide with hundreds of tools, resources and best practices to ensure the safe continuity of operations.
Many of our 69 chapters worked with local authorities to standardize practices so that contractors could continue to safely serve the public in an entirely new reality.
ABC and our contractor members stand ready to revive our economy and work alongside other vital industries, such as health care, to win the war against this global health crisis.
Construction professionals are working around the clock to build the places, create the products and meet the needs so that heroes can be heroes.
The construction industry ensures America has the facilities and infrastructure in place to take care of those who need it most, spurring recovery efforts after forest fires, hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters.
In 2020, ABC contractor members provided essential construction services and goods to the public; 2021 will be no different.
During this pandemic, ABC members are building new health care facilities and field hospitals, converting buildings into hospitals, and utilizing innovation to convert non-typical spaces, such convention centers, fairgrounds and conference spaces, into temporary bed space.
They are setting up testing and triage sites at hospital facilities, accelerating construction to create more critical care and isolation rooms in hospitals, retrofitting HVAC systems and repairing refrigeration units to store vaccines.
They are working with federal authorities to expedite the dredging process for the arrival of massive hospital ships, such as the USNS Comfort, to ports of densely populated areas.
They are correcting supply-chain issues caused by COVID-19 by debunking inaccurate information.
They are creating plexiglass partitions so that families can visit hospitalized patients, retooling manufacturing facilities to make hand sanitizers and masks, developing 3D-printed face shields and even cooking and donating thousands of meals, PPE and gift cards to frontline workers.
As we look forward to a post-pandemic world, now is the time for the construction industry to do what it does best: Build heroes so that this nation can continue to be the greatest in the history of the world.
I hope that this inspires you as our nation forges ahead on the road to recovery and you begin your own rebuilding.
Greg Sizemore is Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development for Associated Builders and Contractors.
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